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Miss J

Cachaça

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This is both an honest question and a plea for information. Which cachaca is your favourite? I got turned onto it when I started drinking caipirinhas (which was quite late in life, as I had to learn how to pronounce both the cocktail and its main ingredient first).

When I decided to learn how to make my own caipirinhas, I went down to the fabulous Gerry's on Old Compton Street, where they stock several types of every spirit known to man and beat, and bought a bottle of Pira Pora cachaca. It's quite nice. But...is it the one I ought to have bought?

Give a novice caipiriniha maker a clue...

Miss J

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we sell alot of caipirinhas at the bar i run,

its a fantastic drink both visually and taste wise.

over the last 7 years in london its gone from an exotic drink that no-ones heard of to probably one of the most popular cocktails around.

its spurned a legion of variations, most of which omit the cachaca and replace with vodka or rum.

the big question i have is, has anyone come up for another good use of cachaca except for the caipirinha / batida style drinks?

germana does a great aged cachaca (i think a 8 yr old?) which reminds me of rum and raisin ice cream, but it's really hard convincing people to try it!

any ideas?


'the trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass'

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A quick look at some of my go do drink databases:

Check out DrinksMixer that list a Colada Brazil, Copacabana, Lambada, Woody Woodpecker and Zico recipes.

Check out Webtender :wub: for the addition of the Fulminator, Melzinho, Nightboat to Brasil and Nightboat to Recife recipes.

I hope some of this helps.

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On a similar note, does anyone have recommendations for a good cachaca? I travel to Brazil on a monthly basis, so I'd be able to find unusual/hard to find brands if I knew what I was looking for. Every Brazilian seems to have a different opinion on the way that a good caipirinha should be made, and which cachaca to use.


...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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First, welcome to eG viva! :cool:

Sample often. Chat with many lovely Brasilians. :smile: Then take your pick from what you've surveyed.

Most unfortunately I can only obtain Pitu, but am quite lucky that is at least listed in very conservative, stuffy oHIo imported liquors available for legal, retail sale.

My European barkeep pals tend to enjoy the above mentioned Germana as they are always sending me new caipirinha recipes that call for it.

I hope some of this helps.

Cheers!

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Beans: The Fulminator should be illegal... :blink:

Viva: Brasil every month... how cool is that?

Every town makes their own "Pinga" and claim supremacy over the others so you have your work (if you can call it that) cut out for you. Personally, I like the older ones because they are mellower, but the younger whites are a fine match for lime, sugar and a hot day on the beach.

I think you should buy two different bottles per visit and sample until you find a fave. Then send the ones you don't like to johnnyd, beans and bacchant036... :wink:


"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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:laugh:

I love you johnnyd!

ps -- a wee confession of jealousy about the monthy business trips.... Yes! Lucky you viva!!

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I've found that cachaca and passion fruit juice make an excellent combo.

A little googling turned up:

http://www.cookbrazil.com/passionfruitbatida.htm

and http://www.savoirfaire.ca/episode_archive/5_recipe_4.1.html

The second one has some recipes mixing cachaca and cashews and/or peanuts. Sounds very interesting. Anybody tried something similar?

Edited to add: Just re-read the original post; I guess these are all Batida-style drinks. Also -- I'm really dubious about the corn batida in the last link.


Edited by jariggs (log)

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Thanks for the welcome, all! I thought it was appropriate that my first post would be about cachaca.

The number of cachaca brands available in Brazil is utterly amazing, rivaled in my experience only by the number of tequila brands available in Mexico. (Which, by the way, is what I am bringing as gifts to my Brazilian friends.)

We had an experiment in a churrascuria where we tried caipirinhas made with different cachacas. Unfortunately, after the fifth, I barely remembered my name, let alone the brands we we drinking. Heh!

I'll definitely seek out the Germana brand. I bought Ypioca here in Arizona, but it's pretty hairy compared to the smoother ones I've had in Brazil. From what I gather, it seems like the Smirnoff of cachaca.

I will also query the folks in Brazil on other things to do with cachaca and keep you updated! (I do adore going there... I've consumed more red meat and feijoada in the last several months than I have in the past several years, but Brazilian beef is probably another topic!)


...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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germana's the nicest i've tried available over here in the uk,

be warned however.......

we went through a faze where we were shooting it straight - nice lift, kind of like tequila - and noticed quality differed alot bottle to bottle, going from a nice round almost banana like agricole rum style to a nasty cheap dodgy chinease whisky flavour , not to mention the fact that the lovely leaves on the outside of the bottle are covering a recycled Kirov vodka bottle.

got to say though that never had the same problem with the aged stuff, and it makes a delicious caipirinha!


'the trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass'

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The second one has some recipes mixing cachaca and cashews and/or peanuts. Sounds very interesting. Anybody tried something similar?

Cashews grow at the end of the Cashew fruit, which is juiced and used in a number of things like ice cream and deserts. "Suco de Caju" mixed w/ Cachaca, like the "Suco do Maracuja", passionfruit juice, are available at bars and at stores for making at home. This could be what they meant.

I had a friend bring a bottle of "Flor do Brasil" back from Brazil and it was pretty good. Simple green bottle with red/black design on plain white label.

Please check back often! I have "Saudades" (nostalgia) ... :sad::wink:


"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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Most unfortunately I can only obtain Pitu, but am quite lucky that is at least listed in very conservative, stuffy oHIo imported liquors available for legal, retail sale.

Pitu bad? I see it in the boozeria every so often and go "Hmm....nah, next time". Should that 'next time' never occur, pending location of better Cachaca? Just moved to an ABC state myself. State store is too far away, and over by the sewage treatment plant no less...usually I just hit my former local on the way to the subway from work!

-- C.S.

Subway Booze Smuggler Extraordinaire


Matt Robinson

Prep for dinner service, prep for life! A Blog

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Pitu works fine for me. It lacks that certain aroma I could only describe as sugar cane husk that comes from the smaller batches. Kind of Agave-like but more subtle. Go buy it next time your close to that place and have a shot right out of the bottle. If you can still type, post a review!


"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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Go buy it next time your close to that place and have a shot right out of the bottle.  If you can still type, post a review!

I'm on it!

Re: Flavored Caipirinha. In the Bahia episode of "A Cook's Tour" we see Mr. Bourdain sipping tasty-looking Caipirinha of various flavors. Over on Webtender (I second Beans' :wub:!) they've got a recipe in which a whole (!!) lime is muddled, to which sugar and cachaca are added. Can this be generalized to produce the flavored Caipirinha by taking 'something' and muddling it to produce 'something' Caipirinha? It's just crazy (and simple) enough to work.... How about infused cachaca (What I origonally assumed would produce the flavoured drinks)?

-- C.S.


Matt Robinson

Prep for dinner service, prep for life! A Blog

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Most unfortunately I can only obtain Pitu, but am quite lucky that is at least listed in very conservative, stuffy oHIo imported liquors available for legal, retail sale.

Pitu bad? I see it in the boozeria every so often and go "Hmm....nah, next time". Should that 'next time' never occur, pending location of better Cachaca? Just moved to an ABC state myself. State store is too far away, and over by the sewage treatment plant no less...usually I just hit my former local on the way to the subway from work!

-- C.S.

Subway Booze Smuggler Extraordinaire

It has been described to me in this fashion: Pitu is to cachaça as Smirnoff is to vodka.

For me I'd really prefer to have a choice and a variety to choose from. :cool:

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they've got a recipe in which a whole (!!) lime is muddled, to which sugar and cachaca are added.

I cut a half lime into tiny dice, put superfine sugar and a splash of water. Muddle and let sit for a few minutes. This allows a good blend of flavors. Bust a couple ice cubes in a towell, add and stir, then fill (rocks glass) with cachaca.

They used to say in Brasil that the best caipirinhas are given a final stir by the finger of a big, black bartender. I guess you could say that back in the sixties... :unsure:

Cachaca infusions? Hmmm! At any rate, it's friday and I'm making one of these delicious caipirinhas right now! :raz:


"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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Hm. I think I have to let this sit for a bit. Is the peel a critical ingrediant here, because I stripped it all to use in infusing. Not bad so far, but I think this is one of those drinks for which I should seek a professional example so I know what I'm shooting for.

Edited to add: Yeech, this is not a leisurely sipper. Maybe it's because the pith of all these lime cubes are exposed, but this thing got sour after a while. Still, I like the concept!


Edited by Chef Shogun (log)

Matt Robinson

Prep for dinner service, prep for life! A Blog

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I've never seen a caipirinha without the peel, and never been served one without, so I say try again peel-on. It's prettier anyway.

Another key (I feel) is not to use big ol' honkin ice cubes - to crush them a bit so they smooth out the cachaca. This is only me making them at home, but I did notice my caipirinhas were served that way (crushed or small cubes of ice) in Brasil. Maybe that's because they knew I was American and couldn't handle it (sigh).

Could the lime in Brasil (called limon, but definitely not a lemon) be different than the limes we get in the US? They're a helluva lot smaller. Maybe more similar to a Mexican or key lime? I might need to experiment.


...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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Brazilians limes are "very" different to those I have tasted in the US - they are smaller and have a lot more tartness to them. These are generally the only type of limes we have imported into bars in Ireland/Great Britain.

As for brands: Pitu is to kerosene, what kerosene is to kerosene. Germana is the *only* brand I try to use, but will happily dip into a bottle of Velho Barreiro or Ypioca Crystal.

As for infusing cachaça - any thing with a floral nose works really well, especually with the aforementioned Germana. I currently have it infusing with lychees and cinnamon, and goyave and vanilla.


irony doesn't mean "kinda like iron".

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I've never had a caipirinha outside Portugal or Brazil, but some of the recipes I have seen on the internet seem to have a distinct lack of sugar, unless some teaspoons are larger than other teaspoons. Which might explain Chef Shogun's sourness. I like rather a lot of sugar in my caipirinhas!

And the peel is half the point of a caipirinha!

My children like "special" caipirinhas, with seven-up instead of cachaça!

Chloe

North Portugal

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As far as I'm concerned, a Caipirinhia without sugar ceases to be a Caipirinhia.

Some tenders I know use some form of granulated sugar, as they claim the resulting abrasion extracts the oils from the zests more efficiently. Personally, I think this is nonsense, and these folks should fetch themselves a decent muddler and use a bit more elbow-grease. There is nothin worse than undissolved sugar in a drink.

As such, I use a variety of syrups, made from various sugars, honeys and infusions to create minor variations on a theme. Muscovado simple sugar infused with crystal ginger werks atrociously well, as does maple syrup infused with almonds.


Edited by the queneau (log)

irony doesn't mean "kinda like iron".

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Peels are essential. Muddling extracts the oils and adds to the flavour. I like the abrasion theory, and when I was in Brasil super-fine sugar was nowhere to be seen. This might explain why the mixture must sit for a few minutes after a good muddling so the sugar dissolves entirely and the proper blend is achieved. This is another reason Caipirinhas ordered in busy bars are a waste of money.

I've been using the "little Susies" key limes that come about a dozen per bag for around $3. I think they are from Texas or Florida or Mexico. They are no bigger than a ping pong ball, have a bunch of seeds, but an excellent flavour. I made a couple caipirinhas using meyer lemons that were really good but they appear to be out of season now.

I had three brands, Ypioca, Flor do Brasil and Pitu until Saturday night. Now I'm out of 'em all! Pitu is all I can get here in Maine, que pena, gente! :hmmm:


"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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I actually thought I went pretty nuts with the sugar, but I'll give it more next time, and leave the peels on. Really they were only without peel because I was using the peels for vodka infusing, so that was just a one-off thing. It was really more of a 'bitter' than a 'sour', probably because the the exposed lime piths stewing in the drink over an hour or so.


Matt Robinson

Prep for dinner service, prep for life! A Blog

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